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Jockey's Ridge State Park

300 West Carolista Drive | Nags Head, NC 27959 | Website

#2 in Best Things To Do in Outer Banks

Explore Map Jockey's Ridge State Park

Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

Devon Gustin/Getty Images

Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

4.7
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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The most popular part of Nags Head (aside from the oceanfront) is Jockey's Ridge State Park, home to the tallest sand dune on the east coast. You can reach the top two ways: either a 1½-mile long sand-covered trail (do this in shoes as the sand can get unbearably hot) or use the 360-foot boardwalk to walk to the top. Once at the peak, you can tap into your adventurous side by sandboarding (which requires a free permit from the park office), take hang gliding lessons from Kitty Hawk Kites or relive your childhood and simply fly a kite. Just remember to bring your own kite or sandboard along with you. For nature enthusiasts, the park also has several other trails you can wander and spot fulgurites (glass tubes formed when lightning hits the sand) – but removal of them is not allowed. Recent visitors said it's a great experience for the whole family, and the top of the dunes provide stunning panoramic views. 

Park hours vary depending on the month but range from 8 a.m. to 6 to 9 p.m. Entrance to the park is free. Those who have mobility issues can call the park 24 hours in advance to arrange transport to the top of the dunes. For more information, check out the park's website

Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
John Yancey Oceanfront Inn

John Yancey Oceanfront Inn ...

  • 2.6 Miles Away
  • 2.0-star Hotel Class
Colonial Inn Motel

Colonial Inn Motel ...

  • 1.0 Miles Away
  • 2.0-star Hotel Class
Ramada Plaza Nags Head Oceanfront

Ramada Plaza Nags Head Oceanfront ...

  • 2.8 Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Outer Banks »

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